"We were the best players in the world and they were calling us amateurs" - Billie Jean King opens up on battle for tennis equality

Saturday, 26 November 2022 at 21:00
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Billie Jean King was and still is one of the biggest fighters for women's sports, particularly tennis and recalled much tougher days recently.
Taking part in a roundtable discussion with other tennis players for Wilson Tennis, Jean King touched a time when she fought for equality between men's tennis and women's tennis. Things are far better today than they were back then but the job is not done yet, there is still progress to be made.
"In the old days, 75 percent of the tournaments were played on grass, so you guys are experiencing the opposite of what my generation experienced and the generations before me experienced. I only made 14 dollars a day, so it was very different."
She continued:
"We were the best players in the world and they were calling us amateurs. Amateur means it's a hobby and pro means you're really good. So we fought, during the 60s we fought like crazy to have a pro sport."
She also recalled the 1970 Wimbledon explaining:
"In 1960s, at Wimbledon, Rod Laver won 2000 pounds and I won 750 pounds, so I went, 'Oh no, I have two fights. To have the place to play and to make more money.' It's been a long journey but I'm really happy you guys don't have to put up with that. What we fought for was for future generations not to deal with what we were dealing with."
King was one of the major reasons the WTA was founded many years ago.

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